Political prisoner Ihar Losik’s being in custody has been extended to May 25, RFE/RL reports. He has been kept in jail for nearly nine months.
“We have just got the information about the extension of his detention term. Unfortunately, I do not know whether it is related to the new charges, but as we have been told Ihar will be held behind bars for at least another two months,” Ihar’s wife Darya Losik said.
Ihar Losik is known as an administrator of the popular Telegram channel Belamova which actively covered the events around the 2020 election campaign in Belarus. On June 25, his home in the town of Baranavichy was searched; the man was then arrested. He has a wife and a little daughter.
He was charged under Article 342-1 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order’) and Art. 293 (‘preparation for participating in mass riots’).
Pleading not guilty and considering his criminal prosecution to be politically motivated, he went on an indefinite hunger strike ‘until all accusations were dropped or the measure of restraint was changed’. Then Losik said he had already spent half a year in prison on ‘the absurd charge’. He ‘would have had to use a teleporter’ in order to commit that crime, he stressed in his address published on Telegram. Later, however, the detention period for the political prisoner was extended by three months, until March, 25. In late January, the imprisoned blogger decided to end hungerstriking on its 42nd day.
Not long ago, another charge was brought against Ihar Losik. When he was informed of the new accusation on March 11, he made an attempt to cut his hands in front of the investigator and the lawyer. He was on a ‘dry’ hunger strike for five days, refusing food and water in protest.